Ontario Goes To Market This Summer
McGuinty Government Encourages People To Buy Ontario Food
Ontario is boosting grassroots marketing efforts for Ontario foods and strengthening the economy by encouraging more people to buy locally grown food at farmers' markets, at on-farm food stands, in grocery stores and in restaurants.
The province hosted a farmers' market on the lawn of Queen's Park today, involving 24 exhibitors representing dozens of different fresh Ontario products, from asparagus to ice cream.
As a result of government and industry efforts, more farmers' markets are opening across Ontario and more people are visiting farmers' markets. Last year, 12 new farmers' markets opened in Ontario totalling 160, with more to come in 2009. There were also more than 15 million shopper-visits made to farmers' markets in Ontario in 2008.Similar results were found for on-farm markets. A fall, 2008 study said 63 per cent of customers spend from $16 to more than $100 per visit at a farm market. The study said that family fun, freshness of product and tradition are prime motivators for customers visiting on-farm markets.
- The Foodland Ontario program has expanded to include meat, dairy and eggs in addition to fresh fruit and vegetables.
- The agri-food industry contributes more than $33 billion to the Ontario economy and employs about 745,000 people.
“Our efforts are paying off. We are bringing together local food networks including producers, processors, retailers and individuals dedicated to selling the fresh foods that are grown and made right here in Ontario.”
“The Pick Ontario Freshness Campaign has started to make a difference in our members' businesses. Consumers are seeking out fresh, healthy Ontario products and looking to support Ontario farmers. We applaud the provincial government for taking the lead on this type of a campaign.”
“The future is very bright for farmers and farmers' markets in Ontario thanks to the provincial government. Our partnership in The Ontario Farmers' Markets Strategy will result in new farmers' markets and new farmers at markets which will lead to increased production and sales of Ontario products but most importantly - it will give Ontario consumers the opportunity to connect with their local farmer.”